Tech in Advertising

British Airways Uses Brain-Sensing Blankets to Try and Prove Passengers Aren’t Miserable

How is anyone relaxed with that thing on their heads? (Screengrab: Youtube)

What’s worse than feeling anxious on your overseas flight? Cuddling up to a blanket that visually displays your nerves to everyone else.

British Airways tested blankets designed to identify passengers’ feelings of well-being on flights from London to New York last week, Re/code reported.

The so-called “happiness blankets” are outfitted with LED lights that turn red (stressed and anxious) or blue (calm and relaxed) according to readings by neuro-sensing headbands. Read More

Better Advertising Bureau

‘All You Need Is Hand': Pornhub Hires Creative Director to Soil Beatles’ Greatest Hits

The campaign poster that won Nuri Gulver his new job. (Image via Pornhub)

After months of deliberation by one of the world’s largest porn sites and its community, Pornhub has finally chosen a Creative Director to help the site break into the mainstream.

Pornhub held a contest over the past few months to find a new Creative Director, in which candidates submitted “Safe For Work” advertisements for Pornhub. A dozen of the contest’s best were chosen as finalists from thousands of submissions. Among the top-ranking campaign ideas were “Everyone’s got a ritual. Discover yours,” and “America’s Largest Do-It-Yourself Website.” From those, Nuri Gulver’s “All You Need Is Hand” campaign won Best in Show. Read More

YOUTUBE U.

Winter Has Come for TV Advertising: YouTubers Are Getting More Viewers Than ‘Game of Thrones’

Daenerys looks worried. (Screengrab: HBO)

Last night’s “The Children” was the season four finale of Games of Thrones, and though the numbers aren’t in yet, it’s clear that millions of viewers tuned in—and then turned to the internet, as they have throughout the season, to cheer, bemoan, recap, celebrate, and even remake the events of each episode.

Everyone knows Game of Thrones is hugely popular. What may be surprising is many YouTubers are generating more views than the popular series. Creators across platforms, and on YouTube in particular, are quickly reaching the same scale and viewership, without the marketing and multi-million dollar budgets. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Mandela Funeral Interpreter Stars In New App Commercial — Exclusive Interview

Mr. Jantjie, pro actor. (Screengrab: YouTube)

Remember Thamsanqa Jantjie, the interpreter who used phony sign language at Nelson Mandela’s funeral? He’s now the star of a new commercial for an Israeli streaming app.

“I want to be a professional actor,” Mr. Jantjie told Betabeat when we spoke with him over the phone this morning. “[Being famous] was my dream since I was a little boy.”

In the commercial, an enthusiastic Mr. Jantjie announces that he’s sorry for what happened at the funeral, and that he’s going to make it up to the world by entertaining everyone with appearances in ad campaigns. He then goes on to introduce Livelens, a new app that lets users stream live video to their friends and followers. Read More

Advertising

CEO Admits He Created Fake Identities To Get Press Coverage

Mr. Anderson (LinkedIn)

Meet Jamie Anderson. He’s an Internet marketer in Edinburgh, Scotland, who claims his ingenious “reverse graffiti” campaign helped him earn press coverage and new clients for his SEO company. But in reality, his campaign was completely unremarkable — he only got the media attention by lying to the press.

Back in November 2013, Mr. Anderson used reverse graffiti to advertise his SEO company, RNR SEO. In case you’re not familiar with the “old media” advertising technique, “reverse graffiti” is the act of creating words and images on grimy surfaces by strategically washing away sections of dirt — like if you used your finger to write “BETABEAT WUZ HERE” on a dusty car window. Read More

Hyperlocal

Gothamist Shutters Its Austin Counterpart Citing Low Nat’l Ad Interest

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.15.20 AM

Gothamist National Media, the hyperlocal news empire based in New York City, announced yesterday that their hyper-local site Austinist is officially closed.

“As an independent, bootstrapped media company, we have to run lean and mean,” Jake Dobkin, the founder and publisher of Gothamist, told Betabeat. “That means pruning the tree each year to keep it healthy and strong, and that’s what led to the Austinist decision.” Read More

YOUTUBE U.

YouTube Ads Bring In the Bucks, But Stifle Innovation

(Facebook)

Google is launching a major new ad campaign. Billboards, posters, and subway trains are being emblazoned with its imagery. Magazines are rolling off the presses with pages printed in its bright colors. Television spots are set to run against a few nationally distributed shows and against local content in a few metro areas.

It’s a pretty standard traditional media campaign, except one thing: All of this media is advertising YouTube. Read More

Social Media

Mad Genius Creates Ello, the Elegant Anti-Facebook

Paul Budnitz — exhibiting photographer and filmmaker, artist, designer toy maker, bicycle enthusiast. Add: social media magnate?

For tech entrepreneurs and investors, a social network is the great white whale of startups. Successful ones scale hard and fast, generating mountains of precious user data for advertising clients.

Paul Budnitz, an artist and designer toy maker, thinks that kind of marketer exploitation is downright evil, and has organized a supergroup of artists, programmers, and designers to build a safe haven. It’s called Ello, and it’s a social network with a manifesto. Read More

Baby I Can Drive Your Car

Black Car App Courts Customers By Offering On-Board Tarot Card Readings

Shuffling the tarot cards.

What do you do when you’re a black car service in NYC, and you want to get popular enough to seriously compete with Uber? You tell your riders they can literally have anything they want inside their hired cars.

That was the strategy, at least, for Gett, the upscale rideshare app that debuted in NYC last August. To get their name out there, the company yesterday launched the day-long #GettAnything campaign, which allowed riders to request any and all forms of en-route entertainment — as long as it’s not illegal — and have Gett attempt to fulfill their wildest wishes. Read More